Washington, D.C. – Earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a draft proposal for their new Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which rendered all of New York ineligible for the $16 billion allocated in Phase I of the plan to expand high-speed broadband access. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik called the Chairman of the FCC directly and sent a bipartisan letter with the New York delegation asking them to reverse this decision, and to reiterate the need for unserved areas in the North Country to be included in the funding. Today, FCC Chairman Pai sent a letter to Congresswoman Stefanik stating that the proposal will be revised and areas of New York will be considered for Phase I eligibility under the general criteria.

“Expanding access to high-speed broadband is critical to the economic wellbeing of our region,”  said Congresswoman Stefanik. “The FCC reversing their decision to categorically exclude New York is an important step in the right direction, as this will open the door to much needed investment in the areas of North Country that still lack broadband connectivity. However, the FCC’s treatment of areas without high-speed access despite some state investment will be central to the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund fulfilling its goal of truly closing the digital divide. I will to continue to work closely with the FCC throughout the development of this important initiative to expand rural broadband access in the North Country.”